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This is Why It’s Okay Not to Graduate on Time
Lily Tabanera
Published on

“You’re not graduating this year” is a sentence that college students dread hearing.

A typical undergraduate course in the Philippines has a four- to five-year curriculum. Most parents expect their children to bring home a diploma within those “required” number of years. It’s been drilled into our heads that not graduating on time would be a nightmare. It’s something that we should be ashamed of.

But you know what? It’s not the end of the world. Here’s why:

1. It is not a race. You're free to move at your own pace.

This timeline is just a stereotype, which means that it can be broken. There’s no rule that says you have to graduate after four years. Trying to keep up with six to eight classes at once can be overwhelming. Juggling academics with org work, social relationships, and personal advocacies could take a toll on anyone. Getting delayed doesn’t mean that you’re getting left behind. It means that you have more time to adjust. You even get to rest and pursue other interests.

2. Other people’s judgement gives you a chance to prove them wrong.

When they hear the word “delayed”, some people immediately assume that it’s because you’ve been lazy or that you didn’t take your studies seriously. Somehow, it’s like you matter less.

What do they know? Maybe you took time off school to focus on your health or to travel.  Maybe you were unhappy with your course and decided to shift to a different one. Whatever the reason, you can use their harsh words to fuel your drive to work harder, to be stronger. To shine brighter.

3. College is actually pretty fun! Getting delayed gives you a couple more months (or years) to enjoy it.

The adult world is hard–much harder than school. Once you’re out there, you’d have to deal with taxes, rent, and complete independence. Don’t be in such a hurry to leave.

Just think about it: while your batchmates are out there looking for jobs, you can keep going to fairs and (sshhhhh) partying. You can keep going to your favorite spots inside the university. Plus, you still get those awesome student discounts!

Do you know someone who’s struggling about not graduating on time? Share your thoughts by commenting here or tagging us on Instagram and Facebook @iamclaireph.